Amy Bauernfeind, PhD

Amy Bauernfeind, PhD

Associate Professor of Anatomy in Neuroscience, Vice Chair of Education


As a comparative neurobiologist, the director of the Bauernfiend laboratory is interested in how the biology of the brain underlies a species’ particular cognitive specializations and behavioral repertoire. The research program investigates neuroanatomical and molecular variation in primates to address questions of evolutionary significance, particularly with regard to the unique cognitive abilities of humans.

Selected publications

  • Bauernfeind AL, Babbitt CC. Metabolic changes in human brain evolution. Evol Anthropol. 2020; 29:201-211. doi: 10.1002/evan.21831. Epub Apr 24, 2020.
  • Bauernfeind AL, Babbitt CC. Genetic diversity underlying behavioral plasticity in human adaptation. Prog Brain Res. 2020; 250:41-58. doi: 10.1016/bs.pbr.2019.06.002. Epub Jul 23, 2019.
  • Bauernfeind AL, Soderblom EJ, Turner ME, Moseley MA, Ely JJ, Hof PR, Sherwood CC, Wray GA, Babbitt CC. Evolutionary divergence of gene and protein expression in the brains of humans and chimpanzees. Genome Biology and Evolution. 2015; 7:2276-88. doi: 10.1093/gbe/evv132.
  • Bauernfeind AL, Reyzer ML, Caprioli RM, Ely JJ, Babbitt CC, Wray GA, Hof PR, Sherwood CC. High spatial resolution proteomic comparison of the brain in humans and chimpanzees. Journal of Comparative Neurology. 2015; 523: 2043-2061.
  • Bauernfeind AL, Barks SK, Duka T, Grossman LI, Hof PR, Sherwood CC. Aerobic glycolysis in the primate brain: reconsidering the implications for growth and maintenance. Brain Structure & Function. 2014; 219:1149-1167.
  • Barks SK, Bauernfeind AL, Bonar CJ, Cranfield MR, de Sousa AA, Erwin JM, Hopkins WD, Lewandowski AH, Mudakikwa A, Phillips KA, Raghanti MA, Stimpson CD, Hof PR, Sherwood CC. Variable temporal-insular cortex neuroanatomy in primates suggests bottleneck effect in eastern gorillas. Journal of Comparative Neurology. 2013; 522:844-860.
  • Bianchi S, Stimpson CD, Duka T, Larsen MD, Janssen WG, Collins Z, Bauernfeind AL, Schapiro SJ, Baze WB, McArthur MJ, Hopkins WD, Wildman DE, Lipovich L, Kuzawa CW, Jacobs B, Hof PR, Sherwood CC. Synaptogenesis and development of pyramidal neuron dendritic morphology in the chimpanzee neocortex resembles humans. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA. 2013; 110:10395-10401.
  • Bauernfeind AL, de Sousa AA, Avasthi T, Dobson SD, Raghanti MA, Lewandowski AH, Zilles K, Semendeferi K, Allman JM, Craig AD, Hof PR, Sherwood CC. A volumetric comparison of the insular cortex and its subregions in primates. Journal of Human Evolution. 2013; 64:263-279.
  • Sherwood CC, Bauernfeind AL, Bianchi S, Raghanti MA, Hot PR. Human brain evolution writ large and small. Prog Brain Res. 2012; 195:237-54.
  • Bianchi S, Stimpson CD, Bauernfeind AL, Schapiro SJ, Baze WB, McArthur MJ, Bronson E, Hopkins WD, Semendeferi K, Jacobs B, Hof PR, Sherwood CC. Dendritic morphology of pyramidal neurons in the chimpanzee neocortex: regional specializations and comparison to humans. Cerebral Cortex. 2012; 23:2429-2436.
  • Bauernfeind AL, Dietrich MS, Blackford JU, Charboneau EJ, Lillevig JG, Cannistraci CJ, Woodward ND, Cao A, Watkins T, Di Iorio CR, Cascio C, Salomon RM, Cowan RL. Human ecstasy use is associated with increased cortical excitability: an fMRI study. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2011; 36:1127-1141.
  • Bianchi S, Bauernfeind AL, Stimpson CD, Bonar CJ, Manger PR, Hof PR, Jacobs B, Sherwood CC. Neocortical neuron morphology in Afrotheria: comparing the rock hyrax with the African elephant. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. 2011; 1225:37-46.
  • Spocter MA, Hopkins WD, Garrison AR, Bauernfeind AL, Stimpson CD, Hof PR, Sherwood CC. Wernicke’s area homologue in chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) and its relation to the appearance of modern human language. Proceedings of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences. 2010; 277:2165-2174.

See a complete list of Dr. Bauernfeind’s publications on PubMed.


2004 BS, Neuroscience, Vanderbilt University

2011 MPhil, Biological Anthropology, The George Washington University

2014 PhD, Biological Anthropology, The George Washington University

Selected honors

2014 Aleš Hrdlička Prize for Outstanding Student Paper. “Differential gene and protein expression in the human and chimpanzee brain: a comparison using high-throughput techniques”. Annual Conference for the American Association of Physical Anthropologists

2015 Distinguished Service Teaching Award. Washington University School of Medicine